How Do Antibiotics Work?

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If you were feeling poorly, you’ve probably went to visit your doctor in hopes of receiving antibiotics. Chances are, you’ve used antibiotics before with great results. While antibiotics have been safely used for years, it is important to learn when and how antibiotics work.

It is important to know that antibiotics cannot cure everything. One of the first things a doctor will determine is if your illness is caused by bacteria or a virus. The common cold and flu are common viral infections. These cannot be cured by antibiotics. If you have a viral infection, other medications will help alleviate your symptoms as your body heals itself.

If your illness is caused by bacteria, you will receive antibiotics. So, how do antibiotics work? The first antibiotic created was penicillin. Many of our modern antibiotics such as Amoxicillin are penicillin based. Antibiotics work to kill bacteria in your body. It also helps to stop the bacteria from multiplying. This is why it is always advised to complete the entire course of your antibiotics. Even if you feel better, your body may still have harmful bacteria. The full course of antibiotics will insure that all bacteria is killed and will not return.

You should also tell your doctor about all symptoms that you have. While broad spectrum antibiotics usually cure a wide range of illnesses, there are a few antibiotics that are specific to certain illnesses. Your doctor needs to make sure that the correct antibiotic is prescribed.

It is also important to note that there are bacteria that is not harmful to our body. Overuse of antibiotics can kill off the positive bacteria. This may lead to digestion problems and lower our immune systems.

The CDC has noticed a growing trend of patients not responding to traditional antibiotics. In most cases, this is because of past overuse of antibiotics. While it is always good to see your doctor when you are sick, discuss a possible alternative course of treatment next time you go. Chances are, your doctor may suggest the age old remedy of rest and hydration. Your body may be able to fight off infection naturally, on it’s own.

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How Do Vaccines Work?

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Children receive vaccine either by shots or through nasal spray. Irrespective of how they are given, the principle behind vaccines remains the same. To understand how vaccines work, it’s important to understand how body immune system works.

Body Immune System

When your child’s body is invaded by disease causing organisms, white blood cells are activated and begin making proteins (or antibodies), which create counter offensive attack to help your child stop any infections. After the antibodies are through with their work, they don’t disappear but remain in the bloodstream ready for the return of the same invaders. If the germs re-appear in a few weeks, months or years, the antibodies will still be ready to protect. They can stop the infection altogether or before initial symptoms even appear. This is main reason why people who had measles or mumps in their childhood, never get it again irrespective how frequent they are exposed to similar infectious agents.

So how do Vaccines work?

Vaccines are made from dead or weakened forms of the virus or bacteria responsible for the disease. In other cases, inactivated toxins made by the virus or bacteria are used. When the vaccine is introduced to your child’s body, his or her immune system detects the weakened or the dead germ and reacts as it would when a full blown infection occurred. It makes antibodies against the vaccine. As aforementioned, these antibodies remain in the body ready to react to any new case of the germs’ attack. In other words, the vaccine is used to trick the body into thinking that it is under attack, and makes weapons that provide defense against real infection.

There are certain viruses which changes making the existing antibodies ineffective. That’s the case with influenza virus. For such, vaccination is necessary every year.

Newborns are immune to certain infections simply because they had received antibodies from their mothers. However, the immunity fades in the initial months of life. Accordingly, it’s pertinent to follow immunization guidelines given by your local pediatrician.

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Early Symptoms Of Emphysema

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Emphysema is a type of chronic lung disease.  In most people it is caused by a history of smoking.  Due to the lung damage caused from cigarettes, people with this disease have difficulties blowing air out of their airway.  However, catching symptoms early can help minimize the progression and discomfort emphysema causes.

Shortness of Breath:  The Early Symptom

Shortness of breath is one of the early symptoms of emphysema, and it is the most common. This disease is progressive and symptoms then evolve into coughing and wheezing.  Most patients who have been diagnosed with emphysema first noticed their symptoms when they quickly became out of breath from doing something that previously didn’t cause them to feel winded, such as walking up the stairs, carrying groceries into the house, or even mowing the lawn. Patients who are at risk for emphysema should keep these early symptoms in mind and report them to their doctor if they notice they are feeling more winded than normal when doing routine activities.

Causes of Shortness of Breath from Emphysema

For patients who have this common lung disease, structural changes in the lungs lead to patient being more winded than usual.  These small structural changes occur over time in response to being exposed to the toxins in cigarettes.  The toxins cause the linings in between the air sacs to be destroyed and producing air pockets in the damaged lungs.  The air in these pockets is challenging to exhale.  In turn, the lungs become bigger overtime and make normal breathing more difficult, requiring additional effort.  This means that the muscles that assist in breathing are made to work harder and will wear out sooner.  Patients struggle with feeling like they cannot catch their breath.  Early on in the progression of the disease people only notice their winded feeling with activities that require physical exertion.  However, as the disease continues to progress the shortness of breath is then felt while simply resting.

Other Symptoms

Additional symptoms of emphysema include:
• Wheezing
• Coughing
• Chest tightness
• Chest pain
• Poor sleeping
• Depression
• Sexual dysfunction
• Loss of appetite
• Weight loss

You can avoid emphysema by not smoking or quitting as soon as possible.  If you notice any of the aforementioned symptoms, contact your physician.

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Flexor Tendinitis Explained Simply

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Flexor tendinitis is a common ailment of the hand and wrist that results from inflammation of the flexor tendons. These tendons are located in the palms of the hands as well as in the inner sections of the wrists. These bands of strong connective tissues attach to the muscles of the hand and act as a series of pulley structures, allowing the complex movements of the hands and fingers. When the flexor tendons become inflamed and irritated, movement becomes painful and the wrist muscles become sensitive to pressure.

The flexor tendons are made from both elastin and collagen, making them flexible as well as strong. They’re surrounded by synovium, a sheath of tissue that allows for fluid movement. When this type of tendinitis occurs, small tears appear in the individual tendon fibers. The tears trigger the body’s natural inflammatory response, and if left untreated the tendons can become irregular and thickened. The result is quite painful hand movement, sometimes requiring injections of steroid medications as a treatment measure. In the most serious cases, hand surgery may be required to relieve this condition and restore normal hand movement.

One of the most common causes of this problem is repetitive hand movements over a period of time. Examples include sewing, typing or working on a factory assembly line while repeating the same task over and over. People with certain existing health conditions are also more prone to flexor tendinitis in many cases, including arthritis, Type 2 diabetes or gout. The tendency to develop this problem is partially hereditary as well. Some people’s genetics simply dictate that more fluid naturally collects in the spaces between their tendons and muscles, which can exacerbate the issue of tendinitis. Common recommended remedies include ice packs, gentle wrist exercises and the use of ergonomic wrist supports. If at all possible, sufferers are advised to avoid or reduce the repetitive motions that cause the condition. Doctors advise cold compression therapy with wrist wraps to help relieve the pain and stiffness of this common inflammation of the wrists.

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Key Facts About Dementia

Most people tend to suffer from mild memory loss as they get older. You may forget an appointment or some one’s birthday, here and there, however, you are still able to cope with daily activities and tasks. One of the most obvious symptoms of Dementia is memory loss, and this is experienced on a different level. Individuals who suffer from this disease tend to forget recent memories, they may have problems coping with simple tasks and are prone to mood swings and impaired judgement. Some people even experience a change in their personality.

About Dementia Facts

Dementia is rarely passed on through genetics and does also occur in young people. This condition usually starts with Alzheimer’s disease, which is much like dementia in that the individual suffers from memory loss and their thinking and other cognitive abilities are impaired. Alzheimer’s starts off slowly and gradually progresses with age. It becomes harder to keep track of recent events and things to do.

Living with Dementia

As hard as it may be for people to live with dementia, it is even harder for their families to see them going through everyday life, this way. This condition causes the individual to often become distant from their family and friends. Caregivers have also admitted that it becomes hard to provide help to dementia sufferers as they experience mood swings and personality changes quite often. They also forget names of people, places and can’t even remember names of common objects and familiar people in their own lives. Unfortunately, there is little that one can do to cure dementia and other related conditions. There are various drugs than can slow down the symptoms of the condition, but cannot eliminate the disease. These drugs are effective for those who experience hallucinations. Aspirin may help to control high blood pressure, cholesterol and may help to prevent further strokes, which would slow down the dementia.

Dementia sufferers should plan ahead. Since a persons memory deteriorates over time, it is advisable to put your decisions for the future in writing now. Family and friends can also help to make your life easier by being patient and offering to assist you, where ever they can.

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Foods That Help To Lower Cholesterol

Diet plays an important role in lowering cholesterol. It is easy to ease one’s way into a shockingly high cholesterol level. However, the reverse is true as well. Changing what one eats can lower thair cholesterol and improve the armada of fats flowing through the bloodstream. A few simple tweaks to a person’s diet, along with exercise and other healthy habits may be helpful in lowering cholesterol. At The Surgeon’s Scrubroom, we want to help you live a healthy life by giving you a heart–healthy grocery list of foods that lower cholesterol.

Lowering cholesterol requires a two-pronged approach: Add foods that lower the bad cholesterol, LDL, carrying particle that causes arteries to clog, and cut back on foods that boost this harmful cholesterol. Without this step, one will be engaging in a holding action instead of a complete victory.

In With the Good

Different foods lower the level of cholesterol in different ways. Some provide polyunsaturated fats that directly lower the bad cholesterol. Some give soluble fiber that binds cholesterol in the digestive system and drags it from the body before it gets into circulation, while some contain plant stanols and sterols that prevent the body from absorbing cholesterol.

Some of the foods to eat to lower cholesterol include:
• Oats
• Barley and other whole grains
• Beans
• Okra and eggplant
• Nuts
• Vegetable oils
• Citrus fruits, strawberries, grapes, and apples
• Foods rich in stanols and sterols
• Soy
• Fatty fish
• Fiber supplements

Out With the Bad

Protective HDL drifts downwards and bad LDL creeps upwards mainly because of the diet and other lifestyle choices. In addition, some people may be genetically geared to respond more rapidly to what they eat. However, genes are not something that one can change. To keep cholesterol down, people should minimize their intake of the following foods:
• Saturated fats
• Trans fats

When it comes to eating your way to lower cholesterol, it is important to add several foods that lower cholesterol in different ways than to focus on one or two. Of course, adopting a cholesterol–lowering diet requires attention and commitment. It also requires one to expand the variety of foods he/she usually puts in the shopping cart and getting used to new flavors and textures.

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Food And Drinks That Cause Heartburn

That hot painful feeling in your chest that feels like a heap of fiery coal could be heartburn. It’s a common problem in so many people and is triggered by foods and drinks we obliviously consume.

Heartburn causes differ in people since we all get affected differently by certain foods. Nonetheless, there are those known delicacies and beverages that are likely to cause that burning feeling. Moreover, how you consume meals and at what times you do so will also affect whether you suffer from a fiery chest or not.

Consuming huge chunks of food right before you sleep is one known trigger of heartburn. Late night feeding overworks the stomach and the large bits of food stretch a vital muscle in the colon that keeps stomach acids from flowing into the wrong chamber. It is never advisable to take drinks or eat food right before you go to sleep; eat about 3 hours before going to sleep.

Other people will get a reaction after consuming spicy foods, especially those laced with garlic, black pepper and eating raw onions. Alcoholic drinks, especially red wine will also trigger the condition. Coffee, caffeine and soft drinks have also been a major cause of heartburn in so many people. Confectioneries like chocolate will also trigger symptoms as well as citrus fruits or their derivatives like orange juice. Tomatoes may also to some extent cause heartburn symptoms.

Even though these foods lead to painful hot sensations on your chest, there is a way you can avoid this. You don’t have to completely refrain from consuming such products, but consume them in smaller portions. Instead of having one huge meal, you can change your feeding plan to five or six portions throughout the day. Never eat before bedtime, always give your stomach a minimum of 2 hours to digest food. Body metabolism slows down when we lay down to rest and creates a huge digestion problem that will lead to heartburn.

The only way to know your heartburn causes is carefully monitoring the food you eat and what effect they have on you after. For more tips on medical conditions and how to avoid or alleviate them, feel free to follow us.

Food And Drinks That Are Worsening Your Acne

A person’s diet can worsen or cause their acne outbreaks. Everyone knows that certain nutrients are essential in helping specific body parts work better. The heart does better when one eats foods rich in omega–3 fatty acids. Health bones require vitamin D and calcium. In the same way, there are certain foods that people should eat for healthy skin. At The Surgeon’s Scrubroom, we aim to help you keep your skin looking healthy and beautiful by giving you a list of foods and drinks that are worsening your acne.

Acne is a common skin condition that happens when the hair follicles are blocked or plugged with dead skin cells and oil. It usually appears on the face, neck, chest, shoulders, and back. Although there are treatments for the condition, the condition can be unrelenting. The bumps and pimples heal slowly, and when they begin to go away, others seem to start popping back up. Acne causes emotional distress, especially with teenagers with severe conditions. The earlier one begins treatment, the lower the risk of emotional and physical scarring.

Top Foods and Drinks that can Cause or Worsen Acne

• Diet Soda: This drink is extremely inflammatory to the body. It contains aspartame that can worsen acne breakouts. In addition, it lowers the pH levels, which can cause acne.

• Dairy: Milk from cows contains many growth hormones and nutrients, which can cause acne. It also boosts the production of insulin in the body that can cause pimples to appear.

• Sugar: A diet with a high sugar intake with a high glycemic index scores high on the list of acne causing foods. Sugar, whether in its simplest form or as sugary treats such as chocolate, can trigger acne. One must avoid sugar as much as possible to get acne–free skin.

• Gluten: It causes digestive problems and inflammation that cause acne. Some of the biggest causes of inflammation that manifests as acne on the skin are wheat, pasta, bread, cereal, and flour.

• Salt: Salt can cause swelling in the tissues, giving one a puffy face. One should avoid iodized salt in high doses because it causes acne. When buying pre–packaged foods, one needs to check the sodium content.

Other foods that can worsen or cause acne include vegetable oils, candy, spicy food, caffeine, and processed foods. This is not to say that one should totally avoid these foods. The trick is to take them moderately to avoid acne. Those who already suffer from acne should cut back on these foods to get healthy skin.

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All Natural Treatment Options For Sleeplessness

 

Sleeping problems affect millions of people and the typical answer seems to be a prescription of sleeping pills. While sleeping tablets work for some people they also come with side effects, and some prescription tablets are highly addictive. Even if prescription medicine is needed for a short period, there are many all natural sleep aids that can be used long-term as an effective alternative.

Meditation and Therapies

Many people have trouble falling asleep because the mind is too busy. Hypnosis, meditation and different types of relaxation techniques are all helpful in calming down a busy mind. There is a wide variety of meditation techniques available in meditation classes, retreats, courses, workshops and DVDs or audio CDs. Some are even available for free online. Different types of relaxation techniques are also widely available on CDs, DVDs and online.

Hypnosis has been helping many insomnia sufferers to get better sleep. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is also proving successful in treating insomnia. It involves regular sessions with a qualified therapist who will assess the quality of your sleep. A variety of techniques are then used to improve your sleeping patterns.

Natural Sleep Remedies

A warm bath with essential oils can help both the body and the mind to relax before bedtime. Lavender essential oil is one of the most effective oils for promoting good sleep. Add a few drops of lavender oil into a warm bath in the evening and burn lavender oil in your bedroom in a vaporizer. Other essential oils that can bring a better and deeper sleep include chamomile, frankincense and marjoram.

Herbal remedies that are commonly used as all natural sleep aids include Valerian and chamomile. Valerian is available as a herbal tea, herbal tincture and capsules. Chamomile is another good option and is easily available as chamomile tea.

Relaxation is the key to better sleep. It is best to cut down on your caffeine use if you suffer from sleeping problems. One easy way to do it is to stop drinking coffee at least several hours before bedtime and substituting coffee with chamomile  tea.

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Doctors, Physicians and Drug Abuse

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Doctors and physicians are humans with a huge set of responsibilities involving the care of other humans. Though tasked with superhuman tasks, they are simply human and prone to stress, anxiety, depression and even addiction — just like everyone else in the world. So when it comes to stress, anxiety, depression and addiction, how many of our nation’s doctors are battling these issues, diseases and disorders?

Statistics For Doctor Drug and Alcohol Abuse

Recently, a study was done to try and figure out just how many doctors and physicians are regularly abusing drugs and alcohol, or have a full blown addiction to drugs, alcohol, or both. The numbers that came from this study are staggering, yet will hopefully shine more light and attention on the topic of doctors and drug and alcohol addiction.

  • Out of 904 doctors and physicians that were enrolled in physician health programs, an astounding 87% were male and admitted to having issues with drug abuse, alcohol abuse, or both.
  • Over half of the doctors and physicians that were enrolled in physician health programs admitted to having alcohol abuse problems (50.3%).
  • 35.9% are enrolled in physician health programs were enrolled due to abuse of opioids.
  • 7.9% had been battling the abuse of stimulants including cocaine and amphetamines.
  • 5.9% admitted to have abuse problems with “other” substances including marijuana and hallucinogenics.
  • 50% of admitted drug and alcohol abusers admit to abusing more than one substance.
  • 13.9% have been involved with intravenous drug use.
  • 17% admit to having prior addiction treatment history and attempts at recovery.

Interestingly enough, there are several medical fields that see higher rates of substance abuse and addiction, including:

  • Doctors and physicians have higher rates of alcohol abuse, alcoholism, and alcohol addiction
  • Anesthesiologists show higher rates of drug abuse involving heavy sedatives and even the anesthetic drugs they are supposed to be dispensing to their patients.

Addiction is a very real disease, and one that does not care about your social standing, your job title, nor about your day-to-day responsibilities. It can strike anyone at anytime, and with it comes the usual side effects of addiction including denial — a side effect that is doubly dangerous when the addict is charged with the health and care of others.

Where Doctors and Physicians Can Get Help For Addiction:

Most of the states within the United States have Physician Health Programs (PHPs) established to help doctors confront their drug and alcohol abuse and addictions head on with specialized addiction treatment and recovery options. Not only are these programs closed and confidential, but they can help doctors to confront and tack their addictions early on, and offer the chance to return to their careers without the worry of humiliation, loss of license/practice, and without severe penalties. This allows so many intelligent and caring doctors to continue their work to help others in the fight against their ailments, diseases and health concerns.

Learn More About Physician Health Programs Below:

Physician Health Programs